Friday, May 22

Bevy Of Attractive Teachers

When I arrived in Hazard in 1922, I traveled by passenger train with my small children, Princess, Tom and Jack. At that time, Hazard had no paved streets. There were barns housing cows, pigs and chickens were prominent on Main Street and many of the buildings you see today were not even a dream in the minds of residents. We crossed the toll bridge into Hazard which was located near the Depot. It was later washed away in the 1927 flood. Persons entering Hazard by the toll bridge were required to deposit 5 cents. I was more worried about my small daughter’s little shoes with red tassels being muddy than anything else at the time. When we stepped down from the train, all three children stepped in mud and their shoes were covered. We stopped in a fruit store on Main Street (where Fouts Drug was later located) to find something with which to clean the children’s shoes. One of the nice gentlemen there offered his white linen handkerchief for the cleaning chore, but with an oath quickly told us that that was something we would have to get “used to” here.

I taught at Hazard Baptist Institute. Some of my students included Beulah (Cooksey) Cornett, Lettie (Craft) Steele, Jessie (Cornett) Peters, Lois (Nicholson) Trosper, Mason Knuckles, Dr. Charles Baker, Chelsea Baker, Wallace Campbell and Paul Turner.

I will attempt to tell of the occupancy of the buildings on the west, or river side of Main Street, Hazard as I remember them in early 1922 and up.

Beginning across from the old jail, where Main Street stopped, Henry Campbell had a barn at the end of Main Street. James (Jim) Baker, who had worked at Mahan Grocery Company, at the end of the old wooden bridge at the depot, where Home Lumber is now located, had married my sister - Rachel Tye, who was then principal of Hazard Baptist Institute. They built a two-story frame building and started a business called Hazard Poultry and Supply. They lived in a bungalow next door, bungalow architecture was new then.

Next door was more modern architecture, a stucco home built by Bird Holliday. Bird also built a seven room apartment building next to that one, which I purchased. In this building lived many nice newcomers – including a bevy of attractive teachers. Among these were Frances Parks, (Mrs. Bill Morton, mother of the former Hazard mayor), Martha Rainey (Mrs. Bruce Hardy; Robert’s mother); Eula Hanes (Mrs. Rufus Ritchie. Rufus worked at the old Kentucky Block Coal Company); and Clarine Ross (Mrs. Dewey Daniel). We had the only phone for blocks, Number 400. I kept busy running to get the dates for these teachers. Clarine Ross got more calls than any of the other ladies but she made the correct decision when she married Dewey and so did Dewey. Dewey Daniel was the Beau Brummel of the hills and no one in the movies, not even Cary Grant, Hank Fonda, or William Powell, could hold a candle to his handsomeness.


  1. Now, I learned something from this blog. I had no idea Mrs. Johnson had any other vocation other than being a number one businesswoman and owner and operator of Johnson's Dept. Store, where my Dad bought a lot of my clothes and pocketbooks. She was one of the first that I knew of that would let you buy something, pay on it until it was paid for; she helped so many that way I am sure, I know she did me as a young teen growing up. I had no idea that she was one of Hazard's educators. What a refreshing entry you have here and I, for one, will be waiting for another one.

    I remember the building she was talking about. Later in time, one of my best friends of law lived in that building, Scott E. Duff; the memory I have of Rachel Tye Baker's business was going by there and hearing all those little "doodles" cheeping away. She kept a lot of them in her store there on the lower end of Hazard, below the Bus Depot. Good memories!

  2. I remember Robert Hardy very well. We went to school together up to the ninth grade, along with his Baker Hill neighbors: Bobby Cisco, John & George Green, Ben & Bill Roll, Alan Alexander and Alice Higgins.

    Sonny Watts